Relax and Revive
A story by Renfrewshire Carers Centre
We provided a range of activities for young and adult carers to enable them to get a short break from caring to relax and improve their health and well-being in a supportive environment. Activities included a football group, outdoor activity residential, yoga, therapies and group outings.
What Relax and Revive did
We provided a range of activities for our Young Carers. Our Young Carers were very much involved in deciding the activities which meant they changed from the original activities planned. The football group was a firm favourite with our Young Carers who very much wanted to see this activity continue rather than try their hand at basketball.
43 Young Carers now attend the football group. 28 Young Carers attended a day trip to M & D’s Theme Park, 20 Young Carers attended a day trip to Flip Out, Glasgow and a further 20 attended a day trip to Heads of Ayr Farm Park. 12 of our primary age young carers also enjoyed a 3-day residential trip to PGL at Dalguise. We tried to give all Young Carers an opportunity to participate in an activity funded by Creative breaks.
Similarly activities for our adult carers changed. During Carers week we put on various taster sessions for Carers and 61 Carers enjoyed our Carers Week activities that included Yoga, Tai Chi, Essential Oils and a social evening which had entertainment from our talented staff. We provided our specialised support groups: Mental Health, Male group, Learning disability, Dementia, general Carers support group and Dementia support group all got the opportunity to have a day out of their choice to get a break away.
We were unfortunately unable to provide all of the activities planned for due to changes within the Centre. We advertised the activities on our social media platforms which enabled us to support some new carers.
What Renfrewshire Carers Centre has learned
When you put in an application to the Creative Breaks fund you always like to put in new activities to give carer the opportunity to try new things however we have learned that sometimes what you plan does not always happen. We had planned different activities to some of those we implemented-the young carers have been thoroughly enjoying their football and preferred to keep this going instead of trying the basketball suggested.
It gave us the opportunity to give the young carers an activity week away which we wouldn't have been able to do without the funding. We developed new partners with some of the activities we put on and pleased that we are continuing to work with them.
How Renfrewshire Carers Centre has benefitted from the funding
It has enabled us to make new partnerships with other organisations and provide new opportunities for carers. The organisations have also benefitted as we have made them carer aware and through the publicity of the activities advertise their organisations/services. It has enabled us to extend the range of services we provide to carers which has helped us to assist more carers and attract new carers to the centre The publicity from the activities has also been really positive
Carers will have had an opportunity to enjoy taking part in an activity out with their caring role. 68 Young carers and 376 Adult carers will have the opportunity to participate in an activity allowing them a break from their caring role
The activities the Centre was able to put on due to Creative Breaks funding enabled both Young and Adult Carers to take part in various activities out with their caring role. Young Carers took part in numerous activities ranging from football training, days away and residential breaks. Our Adult Carers also got breaks away from their caring role through the opportunities given to the support groups, taster sessions of activities however we were not able to put on as many activities as planned hence the numbers were lower than expected for Adult Carers. 94 Young Carers were supported and 107 adult carers. Evaluations are carried out after activities. The case study below shows how the activities we put on for young carers assisted in meeting all the outcomes
Young Carer R was referred to the Carers Centre by his families Social Worker. The referral was made due to R’s anxiety levels caring for his dad who has a diagnosis of PTSD. R is 11 years old and lives with his dad, step mum and younger siblings. The referrer indicated that ‘R’s levels of anxiety are always high, he has a lack of concentration in school and is often tired emotionally and physically. He also lacks the time to socialise with peers and does not attend any extracurricular activities. The referrer confirmed that she felt that she could attribute some of these factors to R’s caring role. Our Young Carers Development Worker met with R to complete a Young Carer Statement. With consent, this was shared with the primary school that R attends and following discussion, a support plan was implemented for R to ensure that his needs as a Young Carers were met within education. Other needs identified within the assessment by R, was to provide social activities to enable him to meet with other Young Carers and have time to relax and take part in activities. R enjoys attending his weekly Young Carers group with activities in the Centre and the community. R also participated in the day trips held during the summer break from school. R attended our residential break at PGL Dalguise. R thoroughly enjoyed the weekend break which was jam packed with lots of outdoor activities with an emphasis on team building. R’s evaluation after the weekend was ‘I want to go back and do it all over again’. Since his return to school after the summer, the feedback received from R’s Head Teacher is that she is pleased at how more settled he is in the new school term.
444 carers will have had the opportunity to enjoy an activity to help them relax and rejuvenate. YC will be able to enjoy sports and peer support away from their caring responsibilities. Adult carers will learn new coping skills from the mindfulness and massage.
94 Young Carers had the opportunity to participate in a sports or recreational activity to get a break away from their caring responsibilities. 107 Adult carers felt better supported to continue in their caring role. This was achieved through mindfulness training courses and a range of taster sessions to enable carers to try out new stress/relaxation activities such as tai chi and yoga. Through evaluations carers reported they felt less stressed and the activities will support them to continue to care.
After attending the wellbeing courses, I am now starting to see through the fog". I do suffer with mild panic attacks sometimes during the night, but I am trying a couple of routines learnt they do seem to help. All of the advice/guidance provided will help me to look after my own mental health. "I knew very little about Mindfulness before today. I am amazed how powerful it is and I already feel less stressed and more relaxed"
Carers and their loved one will report improvements to their mental health and physical well-being. 68 Young Carers will report improved well-being through sport activity and fun and friendship gained in a team 376 adult cares will be able to access an activity to support their mental health
The activities provided for the YC were all undertaken with having the impact to improve their mental and physical wellbeing which the YC Evaluations carried out after activities showed that the physical and mental health well-being of both young and adult carers was achieved. Physical fitness was improved through football, yoga, tai chi and outdoor activities. Mental health well-being was improved through therapies, training courses on mindfulness and relaxation plus yoga and tai-chi.
We gave all of our support groups the opportunity to take part in a an away day where they got a total break from their caring role- this was done on an individual groups basis and also a cruise on Loch Lomond where all of the support groups came together. Carers find the groups really supportive: "The group makes you feel you're not alone" "And what I find really beautiful is that I've been able to make friends out of the people who come along to the group" The activities gave them an opportunity to get to know one another better on a social basis, feeling safe in an environment where everyone understands and get to enjoy an activity which supports their mental health